Sunday, April 20, 2014

Beers from Marks & Sparks

I knew M&S did beers in the UK but for some reason I thought they didn't in the republic, for some reason. It was only after a chat with m'colleague Ed, who knows his beers, that I realised it was worth a look next time out.

It turned out there were a number of beers on offer, I ignored the dodgy fruit beers and assorted stouts and purchased the three at left. 

M&S Staffordshire IPA 50cl 5.5% abv - €3.09
Brewed by Marston's with whom I have a chequered relationship. I have had a bunch of their beers before but haven't been wowed by any of them. This ale didn't buck that trend. It was perfectly fine it poured a deep golden colour with a thin white head. Mildly hoppy with a little malty sweetness. I was underwhelmed but then the curry arrived and it worked very well with the strong spices. One to have with food I'll wager.
M&S Italian Lager 50cl 5.0% abv - €3.39
To give this its full title it's "Italian Lager brewed with Pure Mountain Water from the Italian Alps". My first thoughts were - wow this is expensive for a lager. €3.39 for 50ml or about €2.50 for a regular 33cl bottle; for that money I'd want something special in a lager. I guess there must be a market for Italian lager as I know plenty of folks who live on Perroni on draught, which I find a bit thin and insipid. (Moretti is my go-to Italian beer...)

This was quite pale golden in the glass with a decent head, helped by the robust carbonation. It was light and refreshing with some mild grassy flavours. A good beer for a hot day and will find favour with those who like Perroni and its ilk but probably not a beer I'd buy again.
M&S Czech Pilsner 50cl 5.0% abv - €2.49
Not much to say here. Drinkable, well balanced with a touch of hoppiness but a little wishy washy compared to my current fave Budvar. Would be interesting to blind taste it against Staropramen or maybe Pilsner Urquell; see if I am prejudging this beer.

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